— — ■■ ■ ■— ■-■ FUN FOR THE CHILDREN.! I CHRISTMAS CANDLES. ? lighted candle is placed upon a table. Bach player in turn is blindfolded and stationed with hie back to the cerpdle--abm a foot from it. He is then tefld to take three etape forward., turn round three times, take four steps towards the candle, and try to blow a out. The efforts to do ao are most amusing. STANDING TEST. Ask a boy if he thinks he can etand still for five minutes with his eyes closed without moving his feet. It sounds easy, but it is fairly safe to conclude that he will move his feet before the time is half up. It is neces- sary to be sure that the covering of the eyes is properly done. "If the performer does not move his feet it is probable that he "wiU topple over. RIVALLING SANDOW. If one person places his elbows close to his sides and the tips of the second finger of each hand together in front of him, it then Ibeoclmes absolutely impossible for a second person, no matter how strong he is, to pull the fingers apart while grasping the first one's wrist. Ille secret of it is that the person attempting to draw the fingers apart cannot conoenitrate his strength on his fingers. Try this at amy Christmas party to fill in a dull moment. Here is another trick which will prove in- teresting You sit in a chair and rest the tips of the first fingers of either hand on the top your head. Ask a person to raise the band v, jh a wrist hold. Sandaw, with ail his st, tigth, oould not lift the hand of a child. He mi-glit raise the child from the floor if it had strength enough in its arms, but its fkbgers would not fee moved from its beftd. The cause of this, as in the other trick, is that the strength of the person attempting to lift) the finder is wasted oo the arm from elbow to shoulder, and cannot be brought to bear cm the finger. BLIND, DEAF, AND DTJMB. The players sit for this game, and must pre- tend thev are blind, deaf, and dumb, but no one must close their eyes. One player comes round endeavouring to make them rr» turn smile or speak. They must not give any mdi- cation that tlf-ey hear, or see, or can answer, though the ohe who is testing them may do just what he pleases in the way of making grimaces and fine speeches. The firsib who gives anv 6ign of seeing, speaking, or hearing must pay a forfeit, or exchange plaoes with the questioner. SMOKE FROM EMPTY PIPES. Suppose that you want to mystify your little gueSts, tell them that you would like to have a smoke, and as you make it a rule ne-ver to borrow any tobacco you will endeavour to gratify your taste with two empty oiav pipes, which you hand round for examination. Upon receiving them back you place them bowl to bowl, and, putting the mouthpieoo of one be- tween your lips, sit down and begin to draw, blowing out dense volumes of smoke, and ap- parently enjoying your pipe. At any moment you ca^i separate the two pipes and show hhem to be quite empty. The secret of the trick is this: Prior to the Oerformance you. rinse out the 'bowl of one pipe with a small quantity of ammonia, and prepare the other in a similar manner with a "few drons of hvdrocbloric acid. This is sOOu., absorbed by the clay, and leaves no trace. You can now smoke the pipes by using them to described above. HOT COCKLES. This is a real Christmas game. A piayer, kneetiag down, conceals his faee in The lap of another, but on his back places one hand, the palm turned outward. Each person of the oompany then advances in turn and ad- ministers a slap <m the open hand, the person who is kneeflms trying to guess to whom he owes his punishment. When be guesses cor- rectly the one whom he has detected must take his place. BOW TO THE QfUEEN. This game gives rise to shrieks of laughter among the players. It is played as follows: In a party of boys and girls the boys go out of the room. One of the girls is chosen for the queen. She Beats herself upon a chair. Behind the queen, in a semi-circle, stand the rest of the girls, with the exception of two who stand one upon each side of the queen s chair. At the queen's feet a_ mat is piaced. ,The tableau arranged, a boy is called in and toid to kneeol upon the mat, covering his eyes with hie hands and bending low towards the queen. As he bends he pronounces Chese words: Queen ■ lady, to you I will be faith- ful all my life!" As he reaches the word "faithful," the two girls at his side stoop and pull the mat sharply backwards. The ludicrous result can be better imagined than described. This little performance is repeated antil all the boys have been called in. THE WITCH'S WELL. A very attractive and graceful manner of giving each little guest a small present is to provide a Witch's Well. This must be arranged beforehand, and, with a very little trouble, can be made quite a charming fea- ture of the evening's entertainment. A high tub or barrel, plaoed in a square framewtiTk of wood, and draped with green paper, makes an excellent well. Across the top of the tub, fixed through two boles or the handles, a walking-stick is placed, suspended to which is a string with a small tin pail at the end. At the bottom of the tub, out of sight of the guests, a small ohild is aaated, having on bar lap the little gifts to be flrawn ap. At the well, another child, dressed as a witch, in pointed hat, presides, letdug down the pail by turning the handle and drawing it up a* a signal from the child within, when the gift is placed va fee P*1'- Eacfc little jnest, eoming forward receives- a gift from the hand of the «W>- A SIMPLE CHARADE. For those who are fond of getting lip sbarades the following may tJè ftwrt seefti fct Christmas partiee: 1. An did wooden home is pot on the stage in a prominent position, this audience bang informed that the tableau represents an island in the Mediterranean. 2. The aaxM honse is discovered wM one te& mns; aisd representing an Mend in the Mediterranean- 3. To t& wrpnaa and amusement dE the Wadienee, Cbe earn* dilapidated gee-gee irt re- presented to their rev m yet another kkod in the sanae sea. The first ujkvm reprawote Deboa (Aunt'oaa). The seeond for Lamcw Parr The third WAwag-y eooagh k Skiim l&r.we-oas). If an old toy Waaaa II not .aT. Oc«H»iK>n» mtj, wte —toim
POEMS OF CHRISTMAS. r HYMN FOB CHRISTMAS. j Oh! lovely voioee of the sky [ Whieh hymned the Saviour's 'hirtB, I Are ye not singing still on high, j Ye that sang, "Peace on Earth "I i To us yet speak the strains Wherewith, in time gone by, j Ye blessed the Syrian swains, Oh! voioes of the sky !f i) Oh! clear and shining light, whose beams t That hour Heaven's glory shed [ Around the palms, and o'er the stream#, f And on the shepherd's head. h Be near, through life and death, I As in that holiest night Of hope, and joy, and faith— I Oh! clear and shining light! —FELICIA Humans* I CHRISTMAS EVERYWHERE. Everywhere, -everywhere, Christmas to-night! I Christen as in of the fir tree and pixne, Christmas in lands of the pakn tree and vine, I Christmas where snow peaks staind solemn and white, II Christmas where cornfields lie sunny and bright-— j Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night! Christmas where children are hopeful and gay, Christmas where old men are patient and grey, 1 Christmas where peace, like a dove in its flight, Broods o'er brave men in the thick df the fight— Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-nighit! For the Christ Child who comes is the Master of all, No palace too great and no cobtage too small. The angels who welcome him sing from the height, II In the city of David, a king in his might." Everywhere, everywhere, Christ as to-night! j Then, let every heart keep its Christmas within. Christ's pity for sorrow, Christ's hatred of sin, j Christ's care for the weakest, j Christ's courage for right, „ Christ's dread of the darknes3, Christ s lov« j of the light— f Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-nignt. So the stars of the midnight which compass ua round i Shall see a strange glory and hear a sweet eouncf, j And cry ■ Look, the earth 19 aflame with delight.. i. M ¡ 0, eons of the morning, rejoice at the sight! t Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-nighit! ¡ —PHILLIPS BROOKS, THE CHRISTMAS STAR. I No tramp of marching armies, No banners flaming far; A lamp within a stable And in the sky a star. Their hymns of peace and gladneSl To earth the angels brought, Their gloria in excelsis To earth the angels taught. When in the lowly manger The Holy Mother Maid In tender adoration Her Babe of Heaven laid. Born lowly in the darkness, i And none so poor as He, I The little children of ths poor I His very own shall be. No rush of hostile armies then, But just the huddling sheep, The Angels singing of the Christ, And all the world asleep. No flame of conquering banners, No legions sent afar: X lamp within a stable I And in the sky a star! MARGARET E. SakqstbB, TO THE FRIENDS WHO ARE FAR AWAY. Far flame the fires of Christmas From northland hills of pine, To where our white-fringed shore has clasped The orange and the vine. In many a homestead olden The Christmas cheer is set, I But mid the feasting—silence! To-dav. who may forget? With rosary of falling tears, Bow down thy soul to pray, And lift Love's sacramental cup To the friends who are far away!" Our world-wide tryst, beloved, Hath grief for days no more, Yet Love's immortal chal-lice Grows sweeter thaa of yore, If- spins the storm-rack seaward On winter coasts afar, Above your snow-girt cities burns Unchanged the Wonder-Star. If on your homes of exile Winds of enchantment piay, No lotus vision lureth now, Our dreams are one to-day. O'er homeward-calling seas ye cry— "To the friends who are far arw&y I t "White Star of all the ages, Our lesser lights hava set! Moan they who feast with bitter berbfi, In anguish of regret. 41 Colder the brows we cherish Than winter's snow or rain; Lost mid the angels' choral, Our litanies of pain. Land of the loving and the leal, One holy glimpse we pray, The while oar breaking hearts we lift To the friends who are far awaj' Where deeper glows the holly By happy hearths afar, Or camp-fires challenge night and rain. Red sentinels of war, On shore or sea, or severed By ocean shoreless wide, We claim our own, once more, tind Keep With them the Christmas-tide. Clear ring the bells for fairer Aawd*, Yet fair, 0 Christ, this day- Thy pity hold, ffhy heart enfold The friends who are far away! —FLORA Bbst BÁMtII. OUR MASITEH. We rffef sot cifaob the ba«vtoaly dbmo To bring the Lord Ctiriet dowIt. In vain we search the loweeA aoapk For Itim. to dopft On Aro'w. Hor holy bread nor Wood of ymps The lineaments restore Of him we know in olttwMØ sttope And in the fleeh no inom. Be oometh not a King to acign. # The world's long hope « dim. the weary eeaMturiea waAch in vda The clouds or heawn Sot hits. Deaih oomes, Hfe goes Hi aahtag I And oar are answerlaw. 8M gravw is dujufc; The lwlkw 4a fe Bad with siletftnew. fte lettar fails, the af&mm la& And (P-7 ayaitodi woom fQke Spirit orerbrod&og UtwmJ kwo vemoiq&
PUZZLES AND JOKES. The hostess who can provide a good variety of amusements at a children's party is sure of pleasing her guests. Below we give a seleo- tion of puzzles, riddles, and similar sources of fun which may help to keep the ball rolling, A SWARM OF BEES. Take a B from a fish and leave a stream.— Brill. Take a B from a loaf and leave what you should like to do.—Bread. Take a B from a carriageK and leave you and me.—Bus. Take a B from an account and then you leave poorly.-Bill. Take a B from a colour and note something missing.—Black. A PUZZLING PROBLEM. The following is a very simple sum in sub- traction, but ask your friends to work it out for you, and see how long it will take them. You will observe that it cannot be done in the ordinary way Miles Furlongs Poles Yards Feet Inches ICO; 0 0 0 0 0 Minus 99 7 39 5 1 me answer is 2 inches. FISH ADDLES. Which two fish were married?—John Dory and Anne Chovy. What did the bridegroom give to the bride? -Her-ring. ö Where did they spend their honevmoon?—In W(h) a I,- s. What did the bride say to the bridegroom before starting?—Stur-Geon. Why did the bridegroom sue for a divorce? —Because he had had quite enough of An- Chovy Sauce. AN EFFECTIVE CONJURING TRICK. A smart sleight-of-hand trick is to produce" a handkerchief from a lighted crndle which baa been paeviousjy examined. It is accom- poohod ae follows: The handkerchief is a small silk one, and is concealed at tihe bacK <rf the drawer of an ordinary match-"box, which has the drawer half pulied out as if in readinces to get at the matches. The candle is given for examination, and yon then place it in candlestick on table, and show your hands empty Pick up matchbox, take a match from it, and ligiht candle. Close the box, which puefties the concealed handkerchief into your and, You then pretend to pluck handkerchief from flame of candle, and let it expand as you draw your hand back from Same. CHARADES. My firet is a disjunctive conjunction; my second another "IOrd for people; my whole is a maritime oounty, and gives title to a great nobleman. Angwer-Norlolk. My firet is seen in every line, And may be found, of course, in mine; My second, howsoever near, You cannoA eee, but often bear, While by my whole the man of trade Has information oft conveyed. Azwwe,r-In- voice. "'Tis always so," says Master Tom, When I'm IOn pleasure 'bent, My first is always sure to come, And all nty schemes present. When my new eeoond I had planned To hasten to the green, To shoot there all the afternoon, Swob fun it would have been." No ka%gor fret, impatient boy. Look np, my whole you'll FIOO, And now no longer to your play My first will hindrance be. Abower-Rainbow. HOW DO THEY CROSS? Three jealous husbands, with their wives, wish to cross a river, but can only obtain a boat that will carry two at a time, and, not being able to hire a boatman, are compelled to row themselves over the stream at several times. The question is 'how the six of them contrive to cross two by two so that none of the three wires is found in the company of one or of two men unless her husbnnd is present. SOLUTION. They must cross in thM manner: First two women cross. Then one of 'them brings back the boat and takes the third woman across; that done one of the three women returns with 'the boat, an-d, remp.ining with her hus- mand, allo" the other two men to pass over to their wives. Then one of the men with his wife rowe back the boat, and, leaving the woman, takes the other man across. Lastly, the woman who is with the three men fetches the two women at two journeys. AN ENIGMA. Mr. Wisehead sent his young lady a letter, in which he asked her a profound riddle. The lady could not guess it. and in return sent the following puzzling word: lCURYYFORME. Mr. Wisehead oould not guess this, in his turn, and had to give it up—will you do too? And so it was gently explained to "him that the cryptic word meant, I see you are too wise for me." NOT SO EASY AS IT SOUNDS. Here is a trick to please a child which, al- though it seeme easy, is by no menns so simple as it looks, and, indeed, requires so-me littlo practice before it can be accomplished without a mistake. HoM the tip of the nose with the left. hand, pass the arm across (outside the left arm), and hold the left ear. .aT" Now suddenly t-, .1 "0 the position of the hands—that is to say, the right hand must bold the nose. *n;l the left arm, thrown out- side its companion, must seek the right ear. I The difficulty is to change the positions alter- nately for several times in succession without a break. It pouiim easy, of course, but tfai enter arm gprnrraTly comes to grief and aguime koiri oi acytfcuig and everything ac- oetpt, ih* MT, whitot even the hand desfcifwed to taka 1Mtd of Ae meae often makea aa iaofiao tmai tlMh in the wrong direction. A fafctta practice soon powir the matter right, But first ■MtMipla mn always provocative of naab j mirtfi among t?1'8 bystanders; moreorcr, the feoas made by the victim when he seises the wrong portion of his cown tenance add greatly to the general kiJarity. a raw TOWGUH TWISTERS. Can ytm atoak a (tick across a abide. Or aroflft a oiiek mmmi a stick, Or AN& a ago" 88088 a eiaek, Or a" a mom mmcm m warn, Ohr ciom » — am mervma a stick, at a man ant" a Cir a" a otisk tmnm'm atwdf, dr .d tMH: mow a amm, Of aevosa a srevmd a Ofc or4m a wowed itfak Oman a aliok, C>t,.mpo amd a& I'm-ONO
OUR RIDDLE COLUMN. j What small animal Ts turned into a large one by being beheaded?—Fox-ox. Why bad the window pane?—Because it j saw the chair back. j What must you do before going down: some ate-p.,R--G. up. What is the key-note to good manners?—33 natural. When is a glass like an acrobat?—When ii is a tuinlbler. Why is a watch like a riveT?—Because it does nott run long without winding. Why are lovers' sighs like long stockings?— Because they are high hose (heigh ho's). Why is a field of graes like a person, older th'tn yourself?—Because it's paet your age. Which is the strongest day in the week?— SiZnday, because all the rest are weak days. WhGi1:. is the worst tree you hruve ever seen? -Yew! (you). What is the favourite fish of a girl who is emffaigcd to be married?—Her-ring. Why is a pig ihe naughiie-H of all animals? he must he killed before he is cured. Why should a man troubled with the gout make" his will?—Because he will have his legatees (leg at ease). Why is n lover's heart like the sea-serpent? —Because it is a secre+er (sea creeAer) of great (size). j Which of your teeth are like a dressmaker's f and thumb when she is cutting out a drcv>?—In-eisors. WI: is the hardest key to turn?—A donkey. When does a dog wear the most clothes, in summer or in winter?—In summer, because he co we his coat-and pa-nts. What fish get most trod upon ?-Solee and eels. What dlid. the earwig say when it fell off a > tree? —Earwictf. (Here we go.) What is that which is lengthened by being cut at both ends?—A ditch. Why is a leaf of a tree like the human body?—Because it has veine in it. What thing is that that is lower with a head on than without 1-A pillow. Where was Adam going when he was ill his thirty-ninth year?—Into his fortieth. On what side of the church does a yew-tre6 grow?—On the outside. What" are the most difficult ehipe to con- quer ?—Hardships. Why should a baker eat his own breadf— Because he kneads (need&) it. What is it best to do in a harry?—Nothing. What is it that if you lose is Dot wortB 4nii: -1-Your temper. .o,hich is the oldest Woo in England?—Tb0 older-tree. Why is a cherry like a book!—Beatrase it id tead (red). Why is the summer add like sixpenoeV— Because it is a tanner. What place should a glutton Be ttufc tot- To Eaton (Eton).. Why is education like a tailor?—Became it forme our habits. Why is your nose like 9i. PaoFe?—Became II it is flesh and blood. What is the difference betmw twice twenty-two and twioe two and twenty?—The first is forty-four and the other twenty-fow. What key in music would make & good offioer?—A sharp major. Why is a drawn tooth lite a thing 700 have forgotten?—Because it is out of the bead. Which is the maddest tree ?—Tha weeotno willow. What hae only one foot?—The leg. When is a silver cup likely to run ?-Whoo it is chased. What is it that we often return but never borrow?—.Thanks. When is money damp?—When it is dew in the morning and miet at night. What is that which flies high, flies low, has no feet, yet wears shoes?—Dust. What 'belongs to yourself, but is used bv your friende more than by yourself ?-Ycu'r name. Why is the treadmill like a true convert?— Because its turning is the result of conviction. Why is a whisper like a forged banknote*— Because it is uttered, but not allowed (aloud). If an air navigator fell from his aerop'r.re, what would he fall a.t; inclination* If all the eeas were dried up, what wc.tV! everybody say?—Wo haven't a notion (a:i oeean). What's the difference between your great- coat and a baby?—One you wear; the other you were. Why should an artist ncr be short of money?—Because if he is xt his tr¿d:> he can draw money. What wind does a hur.gry sailor like best?— One that blows foul, tbaa chops, and then come-g in little puiTs. Why is a room full of married people like an empty room?—Because there iB not one single person in it. Why is it probable that beer was made in I the ark?—Dec a use the kangaroo went in with ) hops, and the boar was always bruin. I TfThy is a bad cold a great humiliation?—It brings the proudest man to his sneeze (knoe>). I What i'3 that which works when -it playa, I and plays whon it works?—A fountain. When is an artist a dangerous person?— 1 When his designs are bad. I What motive led to the laying down of rail- ways?—The loco-motive. Why is a poor singer like a counterfeit?— He is an utterer of bad notes. Why is a kiss spelt with two s's?—Because it takes two to complete the spell. What is the difference between a king's eldest son and the water in a fountain?—One is heir to the throne, and the other is thrown to the air. What can you catch, yet never lee !-A passing remark. What sort of weather do mice moat dislike? —Raining cats and dogs. What walks on its head by day and sleeps od ita head by night?—A nail in your shoe. Why do women dislike the letter A?—Be- asom it makes man mean. Why is the figure 9 like a peacock?—Be- cause both are nothing (0) without their tails. Why is a pig in the parlour liko a house on fire?—Because the sooner it is put out the better. What four letters of the alphabet express the feelings of an envious pernf-l N V U (I etwy you). Why is coffee like an axd with a dull edget -4k must be ground before being used. How many days belong to the yew?--= Otfe, the rest are Lent. How do you swallow a door?—Boh it. "tP1!J in A biH-poster the mowt loyal of ftr- ] jjnitrfy fUoa»>witne atibke np for his employara. IRV to tine* abwan like twi" WI 1-Bet SuBt Mm*
YULE CUSTOMS AND LEGENDS. All over the world one hears of curious Christmas customs. In some parts of rural England, when the cock crows on Christmas morning the agricultural labourer will tell you he is scaring away the evil spirits from the holy day. Many Christianised Red Indians believe that on Christmas Eve all animals kneel. In some parts of Germany the belief is held that horses are then able to speak. In Russia villagers dress up and imitate horses, cows, 'and even pigs. CHRISTMAS-BOXES. Christmas boxes, in the early days of Christianity, were boxes placed in churches for promiscuous charities and opened on Christmas Day. Later on, apprentices began to carry a box round to their master's cus- tomers for small gratuities. Whence arose the present custom of Christmas-box giving. THE FIRST' OF THE CAROLS. The Christmas carol originated, it is thought, in the eleventh century. They were sung between the scenes of the mystery and miriiola plays. These plays were the popular form of religious entertainment, and between the scenes it was the custom to introduce songs dealing with the redemption of man- kind. These songs naturally becamie fixed in the popular memory. At the Christmas gatherings later it was cufctomatry to call upon each person present to sing a song, a-nd the merrymakens generally sang those which had been handed down by their fathers'. So the songs which were sung -at the plays emerged as Christmas songs, and thus the carol was evolved. During the Common wealth the wave of Puritanism overswept Christmas fev- ties, and merrymaking was abolished. Later, when the Restoration celebrations were re- sumed, the carols became popular once more. TOASTING THE APPLE-TREE. In Devonshire there is an important cere- mony to be observed on the eve of Twelfth Day by farmers and owners of orchards, which was thought to insure a goodly crop of apples in the autumn. Every fruit tree was surrounded by a little company 'drawn to- gether for the occasion, and this toast wae heartily drunk three times in cider: Here's to thee, old apple-tree, Whence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayet blow! And whence thou mayst bear apples enow! Hats full! caps full! Bushels—bushels—sacks full, And my pockets full, too! Then all gave a great huzza! and made for the house. But, agreeable to custom, they found the door barred against them, and ad- mittance was only granted when a true answer wae returned to the question of the women-folk withi-n: "What meat is on the spif? This was generally a novel and dainty bit, and became the prize of him who guessed correctly. Feasting was then indulged in, and rustic merriment, which continued till night was far spent. HIDDEN CHRISTMAS BELLS. Near Raleigh, Nottinghamshire, there is a valley said to be caused by an earthquake several hundred years ago, and it is iisual for old people, on Christmas mon to teU the children to go to the valley, swop down, and hear the bells ringing merrily in the ruins of the church hidden away in the ground. At Kilgrimol, n*ar Blackpool, there is a Common belief that the bells of a hidden church may be baard by anyooe who benda his ear to the ground at Christmas. In Berwickshire it was at one time a popular belief that bells could be heard nag- ing in the ground on Christmas Eve, and in some parts of England miners have been heard to eav that bells could be heard merrily pealing in the nxwt distant parte of the mine during the lesfive seaatfn. "BURNING THE FAGGOT." Otte ot the old Christmas customs which has almost entirely died out is the burning of the faggot. It is still kept up in some parts of Somerset. Large ashen faggots bound with thick thongs of wood are plaoed across the fires cf the village taverns, and these are watched carefully by all p¥«*nt till the bonds burst. Immediately this «kes place the cus- tomers are at liberty to help themselves to aJe served in huge cans, which the_ landlord sup- plies. The burning of the Yuletide log is still, of course, kept up in some parts. With uch quaint ceremony a substantial block of wood is brought in twelve nights in succession, and reverently placed on the Are, where it is allowed to remain a little while. Then it is removed and placed in a box, there to be kept till the next Christmas, when it is used to help ignite the new Yule log. PRETTY NORSE CUSTOMS. In Christiania and other Norwegian towns rr house door, if you ara a favourite, may suddenly thrust open, and tihere may be pushed into the house a truss of hay or straw, or a bag of chaff. Examine it, and some- where in the hay you will find a handsome preaent. Lovers have been known to send to their betrothed an exceedingly large brown- paper parool. Thie, when opened, revealed a second parcel, with a loving motto on the cover of it, and so on, until at last the patient searcher arrived at the kernel of this huge busk, which kemaL proved to be an adåol. ot delicate a-nd valuable jewellery. Amid, again, ooe of the prettiest of Christmas customs is the practipe, in Norway, of giving a Christmas dinner to the birds. On Christ- mas morning every gateway, gable, or barn- door ia decorated with a siheaf of corn, fixed upon the top of a tall pole, from which it is intended that the birds should make their Chcistmae dinaar. QUAINT DOINGS IN MEXICO. Nowhere io the world is Christmas so .-aUt"" aaiebratwi go in Mexico. Anybody vinitiog Hurt fasenaiiag country during the ktiddle of P-oember woald find the shops packed t.¡J) csrievs j.. representing fan- tastic animal*, flowers, monks, clowns, nuns. Inside the figure iø a jar, sometimes large, sometimes small. There are processions in the streets, torches are waved, songs sung—the whole place i8 Ndian* with happiness. The lkoasee are always decorated. Invariably one room is set apart to represent the stable at Bethlehem, and much 18 done to make the apartment as realistic as possible. Father, mother, children, and friends assemble in another room carrying with them an image of I «be Istwat Christ. They form into proces- sion, siW hymns, 90 from room to room, and Mb )&A veaeb the door behind which is the manger. Two people, supposed to represent Mary ød Joseph, sing a request that they boo admitted. The answer comas with a denial Than there is a pleading for shelter. At that door ia waned, everybody troops in, ttu la—> of bate ia pat ia fbe mancer. MMS
TALES THAT ARE TOLD 3 BOXING-DAY VISION. On Boxing Day the dustman called, And when, as usual, I offered him a bright new crown, He murmured, with a little frown, Polite refusal. « "No, no," he cried; "I wash my face, Best clothes I don 'em, That I may decently appear To wish you all a Glad New Year, And many on 'em." He went, and soon the sweep arrived; In accents thrilling He said, Last time I came to sweep My charges were a trifle steep; Take back a shilling." And next, some seedy-looking men- The wa.ite--came calling. They said, Accept our deep regret For well-earned slumbers we've upset By all our squalling." Then, handing me some choice cigars, They went off beaming. When I recovered my surprise, I muttered, as I rubbed my eyes, I must be dreaming!" (I was.) PLAYED TO A HAYSTACK. A certain band had a funny experience, which is still the cause of much bantering by those who knew the circumstances. The musicians had been doing a lengthy round of "waits" playing, and as the result of too- generous hospitality (this was in pre-war time, rememlber) they were very tipsy. Walk- ing down a road, they halted at what the thought was a house, and played several tunes, but got no response. They're bringing a leet," said one, aw con see it upstairs." They played again, and the leader shouted The bandsmen put down their instruments, and waited. But one who was more sober than the rest found out that they had been rendering Christmas carols to a haystack, and the light which the bandsman thought he saw was the moon peeping over the top of the stack. MISTAKEN IMPRESSION. One Christmas Eve the vicar of a N Country village was "entertained" by wen, meaning waits for upwards of an hour. On the following morning the chief con- spirator, or leader of the party, called at the vicar's house. He was at once shown into the good man's study, and began Sir, I am the leader of the waits who paid you a visit last night! "I am glad that you have called," returned the vicar. "Yes," beamed the other; "we thought you would gladly remunerate us for onr per- formance-" "What!" thundered the vicar. "You have come for money? I thought you had come to apologise! THE SOLE SURVIVOR. On leaving the harbour, the ship ran into a piety, half-pitching, choppy sea, which was specially noticeable as the twenty-five pas- sengers at the captain's table sat down to their Christmas dinner. I hope that all of you will rememlber this Christmas Day," said the captain, as the roast beef and turkey appeared, and that this little assembly of-of twenty-three will be more happy and prosperous during the coming year. I look upon these—er—twenty smiling faces as a father would upon his family, for I am responsible for this little group of seventeen. "I hope that all-fourle-en--of you will join me in drinking to the co-ining year. I be- lieve that -re-er-eigbt-are most congenial, and I applaud the judgment which chose you three for my table. You and I, my dear sir, are Here, steward, clear away thoee plates and bring me the pudding." A CHRISTMAS CARD ROMANCE. Some years ago a Sheffield doctor bought some Christoiae cards, and after despatching them to aN ibis friends, found one remained. Then he thought of am aunt living in Wales with whom he was not on particularly good terms. Nevenbbettess, he thought., Christmas is Chrisibmas," and eent the odd card to her. Not long after the old lady died, and in a wifi dated the day succeeding the despatch of the card she bequeathed the doctor property worth £ 40,000. The kindly sentiments ex- pressed in the little token had borne good fruit. A WISE PRECAUTION. At Christmas the children of a certain Yorkshire school tried to collect money by going from house to house singing carols and sroatches of hymns. Many complaints reached the rector's ean of bands of youngsters scampering through the first verse of While shepherds watched," and then violently ringing the door bell. So he instituted inquiries on next visiting the school. Why is it," he asked, that instead of singing the hymn in a reverent way, yoo simply scamper through one verse and then ring the bell? Silence for a short whole. Then a shrill vesoe from a sraaU boy at the back of the room was heard in explanation Please, sir, its 'cause they always lets the, dog loose at the second verse." SOME RIDDLES, My first is in pencil, but not in slate My second is in comrade, but not in mate; Mv tliirt4 is in piano, but not. in Ante- fourth is in stoekinsr. hd not in boot; My whole is a u&eful article. Answer-froii, The riddle of riddles—it leaps and it skips; 'Tis seen in the eyes, and it cheats on the lips; It seldom is found, thorch oftentimes "'PM 'Tis sometimes a feather, pnd now and then lead. If it meets Mfith its match 'tis happily caught, If money c#n buy it—it s n^t worth a groat' The answer to this ingenious construction io-a Heart! I
everyone DurstB mw uappiness. in another room what is known as the penata—the figure to which I have referred—is suspended from the roof. In the jar is a collection of sweet- meats and presents. Folk, old and young, are in turn blindfolded, spun round, and then with a stack are invited to hit the penata. Of course, this is raroly accomplished. At last., whn one more fortunate than the others gives the figure a whack, the jar breaks, and down on the floor tumbles a medley of sweet- meats and presents. There is a natural scrambling for the good thing* sprayed about the floor. There is more of this fantastic crockery broken in Mexico on one night than ordinary ware broken dwriag the reek of the year.